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house listen to the principles themselves, the president speaker boehner talk about these issues, i would rather be here because this is where so much of the same conversation is going to be taking place, and i get the opportunity today to talk to many of those principles directly involved in those negotiations, what's going to play out of the next couple months. it's a critical time in the country's fiscal history right now, tough decisions to be made. and again, honored. glad somebody people are watching as well over the internet and elsewhere. so we are going to begin some additional conversations here right now. i'm going to be talking about with members of congress but also to erskine bowles and alan simpson there. will he talk with some top economist about some of the choices facing those policymakers, but right now we are joined by one of the principals in the conversation to take place over at the white house in just about an hour or so, and that is gene sperling, the director of the national economic council. so i will invite him out there on the stage. so if gene sperling
point -- that speaker boehner showed yesterday in his remarks. he basically said that the president won the election, and he should lead. he basically, he said that he was open to revenues. which is, which many in his own party disagree with. um, so i thought the tone was the right thing. now, you know, you can't expect the speaker to turn on a dime in 24 hours and embrace everything; higher taxes, higher taxes on the wealthy. but i think that privately he's seen the handwriting on the wall, and it makes me very hopeful that we can do something big in the next month and a half. it's a good first step. um, i would say two things, though, in relation to it. when you unpack the speaker's speech, there is a premise that doesn't quite work, and we're going to have to help him move others in the republican party away from it. it's called -- part of his speech he talked about dynamic scoring. this idea that if you cut taxes, you will increase revenues. well, it's about time we debunked that myth. it's a rumpelstiltskin fairy tale, dynamic scoring. if you may remember, rumpelstiltskin was the f
. john boehner still in the house for the time being at the treasury. the president is back in the white house and harry reid is in the senate with a few more seats. why should i believe this would end any more positively than the summer of 2011? >> because again i'm not going to try to talk to you in optimism but let's look at what's changed. you have republican leadership acknowledging for the first time in this debate in public that it's agreed to increase in revenues as part of an agreement that helps restore fiscal balance. that's a very important change. you can debate on what motivated that change, and of course it's true that approach has been a popular very substantial support among the american people. you have a much greater recognition that the economy would benefit on a carefully designed balanced agreement on fiscal reform and putting it off indefinitely is not good for the country. that's important, too. and i also think again if you listen carefully to what people are saying and what many politicians are saying with many elected representatives are saying there's a lot of
it off track when there were in fact very close. i think boehner has been very clear. i think revenues are on the table. they are at the moment drawing a line on tax rates, but we will see where that goes. the last time, you are right, didn't work and we were not facing quite the same set of circumstances we are facing today so i'm cautiously optimistic although i will offer to say lastly that people sometimes say okay, it looks like simpson-bowles, everything in between zero and $4 trillion we could end up with all kinds of outcomes that may be less than i would like and maybe less than all of you would like but at least something. i'm hoping it is more over here but i don't know. >> and steve, so we are gathered here to talk about u.s. global competitiveness. how important is resolving these issues to the american position on the global economy? >> first of all i think it's important not just our position in the global comment about our position in the world. admiral mullen who was the previous chairman of the joint chiefs of staff said our greatest national security threat was our f
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